Happy Friday, friends!! One of the questions readers ask me is how to decorate a big, empty wall. Those areas are tough – should you hang several little things or one big thing, or little and big things, or leave it blank? So today on the Friday Five: Five Ways to Decorate a Big Wall.
1. Make it a gallery wall.
You can see tons of examples of gallery walls on Pinterest and in magazines. In fact, you can even find sample layouts for gallery walls (for example, see THIS board I created on Pinterest).
For the gallery wall above our stairs, I chose mostly art that our kids made. I love the bright colors and the kids (and I) love seeing their art in a place of honor.
The keys to a good gallery wall are:
- Hang the art in a way that complements the space. For example, if your gallery wall is the wall above stairs, the art should be hung on an angle that mimics that of the stairs (as in the above picture).
- Have a good mix of items on the gallery wall. Mix in paintings or drawings with graphic letters or numbers and sculptural or architectural elements. Have a mix of materials/media as well: metals, wood, and paper. That creates interest on the wall.
- Hang things that are meaningful or lovely to you.
In our new house, our gallery wall has art created by our kids, as well as two of my favorite photos. In our old house, the gallery wall included a Mother’s Day card from my daughter and a beautiful card given to me by a friend when I was going through a rough time.
If what you want to include in your gallery wall seems too small, grab an empty frame, paint it a happy color, and hang it around the smaller item. I did that with the ampersand and card above.
- Map out the gallery wall before you hang it. Just lay out the art on the floor in the arrangement you want. That way, you can move things around before you put holes in the wall!
2. Add big elements.
This is almost the opposite idea from a gallery wall, where you add many smaller elements. Instead, add one or a few big elements.
In our old house, in the dining room, I had a big expanse of wall to cover. I tried doing a gallery wall, but it wasn’t right for the space. Instead, I did this:
I found these oversized mirrors at IKEA – HERE – and bought three. I love repetition of a bold design element like this, and the mirrors actually make the room seem bigger. Perfect for a big wall like this.
Maps are also a big, fun (and usually inexpensive) element to add to an empty wall:
I bought this map from a woman who found a bunch of old maps in her attic. It’s one of my favorite things in our home – so much character! I hung it above our guest room daybed – seemed appropriate since it’s a map of “vacationlands”!
3. Turn it into a command center.
If the blank wall is in a central location – the kitchen, breakfast room, mudroom, etc. – turn the empty wall into a command center.
In our old house, we had an empty wall in our breakfast room. The breakfast room was the room where we not only ate our meals, but also did homework, did puzzles and crafts, and had “family meetings.” Thus, it only seemed logical to add a command center to this wall.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to create a family command center like this. In our old house’s command center, above, I took an old window and made a memo board out of it (find the tutorial for how to do that HERE; window was free – I found it on the side of the road!), I added two dry erase boards from Target (I found on sale at back-to-school time), and a mail sorter from HomeGoods (also on sale – $30). You can also create a chalkboard out of a cabinet door (tutorial HERE):
4. Make it an accent wall.
I love paint – it’s an inexpensive and relatively easy way to completely transform a space.
Before, our hallway was just beige and boring. After, the color gives this wall, which was kind of an awkward space, some dimension and interest:
A big accent wall essentially becomes art in the room:
5. Paint a mural.
That’s what I did in our 1929 house breakfast room. I painted a big tree, reminiscent of the one in the Paddington movie:
I realize that not everyone wants to paint a tree in their room, but it’s just an example of what you can do with a big expanse of wall.
And, if you don’t want to paint it yourself, you can find wall decals that are mural-sized!
What have you done with a big wall in your home? Share in the comments!
Have a great weekend, friends!!